City seeking grant to preserve 395 acres
October 5, 2007
Carson City is working to buy 395 acres in the eastern part of the city for its parks department, but has not been able to agree on a price with the property owners.
The area, south of Riverview Park, is owned by the Jarrard Family and is known as the Jarrard Ranch.
Last month, the Board of Supervisors approved seeking grant money from the state for the sale and last week sent a letter to property owners near the ranch saying the city is trying to get grant money so it can preserve and restore the property for recreation, pastures or animal habitat.
But the $4 million the city had the land appraised for isn’t a fair price, said James Jarrard, one of the property owners.
“It’s not nearly enough for that land,” he said. “It’s just not … the valley is just a really precious thing.”
In July, the city bought the 86-acre Andersen Ranch just west of the site for $3.5 million and is now leasing the property back to the owner for animal grazing.
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Since the city would consider the Jarrard Ranch “open space,” it could get up to 75 percent of the funding from the Nevada Division of Lands under a conservation program.
The land is a floodplain and has the Carson River running through the eastern section of it.
“This is an acquisition that (the open space division of the parks department) has had in its sights on as long as open space has been around,” said Joe Childs, who lives on Buzzy’s Ranch Road near the Jarrard property. He also once led a group called Save Buzzy’s Ranch that wanted to keep development out of the area, according to Nevada Appeal records.
Open space is important to people in the city, said Carson City Supervisor Shelly Aldean, because it protects “quality of life.”
She said property along the river is coveted, and if the city owned the Jarrard property one of the things it could do is preserve the beautiful pastoral scene there.
But because the property is in a good location, James Jarrard said, developers might pay a lot more than the current appraised value.
He said if the property could be developed by businesses, “the potential out there is limitless.”
The Andersen and Jarrard ranches used to be a single property called Buzzy’s Ranch. If the city buys the Jarrard section, it will supplement state funds with money from a city sales tax specifically for parks and open space programs.
• Contact reporter Dave Frank at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1212.